With local broadcast money and attendance for the league remaining strong, according to sources after two years of seeing revenues relatively flat at $7 billion, Major League Baseball will see revenues of $7.5 billion for 2012. To place this in perspective, when accounting for inflation, baseball’s revenues have increased 257 percent since 1995 when they were $1.4 billion.
And while the number is impressive, it’s just the beginning of what will likely be one of—if not the—largest spike in revenue growth in league history. That’s because starting in 2014 the new national broadcast deals with FOX, ESPN, and TBS kick in which will add an additional $788.3 million a year. That means if MLB’s revenues remained static, league revenues for 2014 would exceed $8.4 billion. That, of course, isn’t going to happen. Revenues will get a further hefty bounce when the Dodgers finalize their broadcast deal which is reportedly worth $6-$7 billion. Depending on when that kicks in, it’s very possible that MLB could flirt with, or surpass, the $9 billion gross revenue plateau in a couple of years.
Here’s MLB revenues from 1995 to the present
Click to see full view
Source: Major League Baseball, Biz of Baseball research
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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